Fashion Statements

April 18th - September 8th

The clothes we wear reveal something about our personality. Fashion expresses our identity, what we consider important or what we stand for. In this exhibition, six leading contemporary designers place their creations alongside and opposite our historical collection of fashion from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is a dialogue between the present and the past; an exchange of statements.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, fashion was a useful means of knowing who you were dealing with. Did you wear black? Then you were probably rich or in mourning. Was your hoop skirt enormously wide? Then you had enough money to hang it wide - and in the meantime your slim waist also came out fine. Did you not have a slim waist? Then there was a shaping corset in which you were constricted, pregnant or not, to fit into the silhouette of that moment.

Reflection by contemporary designers


Ninamounah about body shapes

Do we still want a slender waist because it is imposed by the environment or by ourselves? Or rather by both? Does it make people uncomfortable when we consciously adapt body shapes that are unflattering according to the standard, as in Ninamounah's designs?

Ninamounah. Photo by Piet Oosterbeek - Corset, 1850-1859. Collection Amsterdam Museum

Patta about shoes

Boots are made for walking. Or not? In the nineteenth century Sophia Lopez Suasso collected dozens of pairs without ever wearing them. This is familiar territory for Patta, for whom wearers of their shoes are primarily wearers of culture and class.

Patta: Edson Sabajo and Guillaume Schmidt.

Marga Weimans about volume

Beautiful dresses, meter long fabric, a dramatic volume. But in the days when volume was omnipresent, so was the slave trade. With her voluminous dresses, Marga Weimans sketches an image of beauty, but with tears and blood she criticises the history of slavery, which is interwoven with textiles and fashion.

Marga Weimans
Marga Weimans. Photo Roel Jacobs - Two-piece house gown circa 1750-1775. Collection Amsterdam Museum

Bas Kosters about exuberance

Adjusting clothes, a new phenomenon or centuries old? Where in the past fabrics were too expensive to replace with every fashion trend and were therefore adjusted, today Bas Kosters cuts up old garments to give them new value. Bas Kosters' designs are flamboyant and lavish in prints, embroidery, textures and use of colour.

Bas Kosters
Bas Kosters. Photo Marc Deurloo - Gala costume, 1750-1810. Collection Amsterdam Museum

Art Comes First about Black

There have always been different shades of black, depending on which pigment, fabric or structure was used. For Art Comes First, 'black' is much more than a colour. It stands for love for everything that is black: black culture, black music, black love. Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh, the duo behind Art Comes First, are reclaiming black.

Art Comes First
Dress, circa 1905. Collection Amsterdam Museum - Art Comes First for Amsterdam Museum, Photo David Pattinson

Karim Adduchi on hips

In his designs Karim Adduchi accentuates the contrasts between strength and vulnerability, wealth and subordination, revealing and concealing. He uses material that goes back to his roots, where Berber women hide their beauty in public.

Karim Adduchi. photo Chavez van den Born - Robe à la Française, circa 1760-1780. Collection Amsterdam Museum

Discover Fashion Statements at the Amsterdam Museum.